Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi, yesterday, signed the 2018 Appropriation Bill passed by the state’s House of Assembly into law. The budget estimate stood at the sum of two hundred and eight billion, three hundred and thirty-one million, eight hundred and seventy thousand and thirty-six naira only (N208,331,870,036).
The budget signing which took place at the Exco Chamber of the Government House, Abakaliki saw key stakeholders of the state in attendance including the leadership and members of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Commissioners and others.
Speaking after performing the exercise, Gov. Umahi reassured of his resolve to ensure, as much as possible, the full implementation of the 2018 budget. He explained that the government budgeted greater percentage to capital project to build the future of Ebonyi children.
“When we were appraising our performances for 2017, our recurrent expenditure stood at 7% with all obligations as far as recurrent was concerned, discharged. You know, as far as first line charges are concerned and the capital stood at 79.3%.
“And so, the threshold of the World Bank is 1.5; that is capital over recurrent but we made 3.84 and we came first in the whole federation. We were given the indices and we compared it.
“We have the right to make the recurrent expenditure even to be up to 80% but we will be eating the future of our children. I don’t think anybody who has deep understanding of the world economy and how it is going will want us to eat the future of our children” he said.
Earlier in his introductory speech, the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Bernard Odoh, explained that state’s budget for 2018 was adjudged the first in the country because of “our unusual focus on capital project at 79% and the recurrent at just about 20.5%. That is a novel feat.”
Also speaking, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Chief Francis Nwifuru, reminded that “the House of Assembly has appropriated the sum of N208,331,870,036 to cover the recurrent stabilization fund and capital development fund for the development of Ebony.”
Meanwhile, the governor, on the occasion clarified his endorsement of lawmakers in the state and national assemblies. He said that the endorsement, which has attracted mixed reactions, does not guarantee that they will get the ticket of his party, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The governor had in December thrown his support for the re-election of
all the 24 members of the House of Assembly and all the eight National